Procedures at Hendrix College
The on-campus deadline for seniors interested in applying for the Watson is at the end of September/beginning of October. Each senior who submits a proposal will have a 15 minute interview with the Honors Committee the following week. The Honors Committee will then select up to four candidates and help them prepare their proposals for the Foundation’s deadline, which usually falls on the first Wednesday in November. A representative from the Foundation has traditionally come on campus the first or second week of classes of the spring semester to interview each candidate for an hour. The Watson Foundation announces awards via its web site by mid-March.
Once funding becomes more secure, candidates who do not receive a Watson Fellowship will be considered for a Walker Odyssey Fellowship of $15,000 to pursue their proposed travels in a shortened form. The Walker Fellowship is currently suspended due to financial considerations.
Contact Britt Anne Murphy for more information (450-1288 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Proposal & Personal Statement
The Watson Fellowship is a Wanderjahr – a year in which you explore interests while immersed in other cultures. As described by the foundation, the heart of the application is two documents from you: a personal statement and a project proposal. “The proposal should describe your plan for a 12 month fellowship year, including a description of your proposed project and details on how you intend to carry it out. In addition, you should include information about what it is that prepares you to undertake your project.”
“In your personal statement, you should discuss how this is your project – how it reflects your talents, concerns, and commitments. It may include a description of your background, your college years, your professional goals and aspirations, and your reasons for seeking a Watson Fellowship to undertake your project.” These should reflect your passion for the subject. Neither of these two statements should exceed five double spaced typewritten pages, although it should feel like you could easily fill 10 with all the neat, exciting things you know.
I have very little firm advice to give you beyond what is found in the literature for the Watson. This idea must involve a year long, creative experience outside of the United States (and no, you cannot come back unless hideous things happen). The cornerstone of your proposal is an idea that excites your interest and expands your experiences. This is one that you have been involved in before. It is expected that you will feel passionate about your subject, create a study that allows “conversation” with other cultures, and have planned a methodology including local contacts that makes this study possible. Feasibility is an important factor...how "doable" is the project, based on your language abilities, personality, and experience?
A word of caution: your proposal must be well written and concrete. Back up your plans with methodology, know why each location is vital to your program (having back-up locations is prudent in case of unforeseen complications). Ask questions that you can get answers to, contact local people who will give you access the information. Submitting a budget and list of contacts is strongly recommended. Be sure to have a mentor or colleague critic your proposal carefully for you.
Hendrix Watson Fellowship Home Page
Last Modified on 8/29/2015